Evolution: A Scientific American Reader
From the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 to the court ruling against the Dover Area School Board’s proposed intelligent design curriculum in 2005, few scientific topics have engendered as much controversy—or grabbed as many headlines—as evolution. And since the debate shows no signs of abating, there is perhaps no better time to step back and ask: What is evolution? Defined as the gradual process by which something changes into a different and usually more complex and efficient form, evolution explains the formation of the universe, the nature of viruses, and the emergence of humans. A first-rate summary of the actual science of evolution, this Scientific American reader is a timely collection that gives readers an opportunity to consider evolution’s impact in various settings.
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The neutral atoms then began to coalesce into gas clouds, which later evolved into stars. By the time the universe had expanded to one fifth its present size, the stars had formed groups recognizable as young galaxies.
Then, in 1929, the eminent astronomer Edwin P. Hubble showed that the rate a galaxy is moving away from us is roughly proportional to its distance from us. The existence of an expanding universe implies that the cosmos has evolved from ...
So if galaxies are all moving away from one another and are evolving from earlier forms, it seems logical that they were once crowded together in some dense sea of matter and energy. Indeed, in 1927, before much was known about distant ...
Using sophisticated computer simulation techniques, cosmologists have devised models that show how the density fluctuations left over from the big bang could have evolved into the first stars. In addition, observations of distant ...
The cosmological models predict that these clumps would gradually evolve into gravitationally bound structures. Smaller systems would form first and then merge into larger agglomerations. The denser regions would take the form of a ...
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Dinosaurs and Other Monsters